Romans 15:9-12: God of All Nations
Many Christians without trying have a divided God, the God of the OT, and a second and different God of the NT. This functional Bitheism is a contradiction to the unity of the Scriptures and a seedbed for atheism. Some see the God of the OT as a God of law and wrath and the God of the NT as a God of salvation and love. Maybe you don’t have that extreme division in your minds but there are others who think that the God of the NT is a God of all nations, and in the OT He is only a God of one. So missions is a NT phenomena and not an OT one. This is a very wrong headed way to think about God. Our text today is proof of this.
Today we are looking at Rom. 15:9-12, ‘As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”’ Paul has been speaking about unity in the church in Rome, and a never before heard of unifying of Jew and Greek in the Church. Both Jews and Gentiles have prejudices that need to be overcome. So here we see Paul quoting the word of God from the OT to prove that this new united body was always God’s plan from the beginning. By proving that God is a missionary God Paul is laying a foundation for true racial reconciliation, united worship and God being glorified.
We will look at these verses under two headings. Firstly, we will have a quick look at these OT quotes to show how God had always intended to save a people of all nations. Secondly, I want to look at the concept of missions in the OT more generally.